Children's Fiction Multigenerational
The Song That Called Them Home
- Initial publish date
- Apr 2023
- Multigenerational, Native Canadian, Native American
- Recommended Age
- 4 to 8
- Recommended Grade
- p to 3
- Publish Date
- Apr 2023
- List Price
Where to buy it
From the award-winning author of On the Trapline comes a cinematic fantasy-adventure story inspired by Indigenous legends.
One summer day, Lauren and her little brother, James, go on a trip to the land with their Moshom (grandfather). After they've arrived, the children decide to fish for dinner while Moshom naps. They are in their canoe in the middle of the lake when the water around them begins to swirl and crash. They are thrown overboard and when Lauren surfaces she sees her brother being pulled away by the Memekwesewak — creatures who live in and around water and like to interfere with humans. Lauren must follow the Memekwesewak through a portal and along a watery path to find and bring back James. But when she finally comes upon her brother, she too feels the lure of the Memekwesewak’s song. Something even stronger must pull them back home.
About the authors
DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the winner of the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the TWUC Freedom to Read Award. His books include The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga; When We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People); Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, graphic novel category); and the YA novel Strangers (recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). He is the creator and host of the podcast Kiwew. Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.
David A. Robertson's profile page
Maya McKibbin is a Two-Spirited Ojibwe, Yoeme, and Irish filmmaker, illustrator, and storyteller. Using her education in computer graphics and interactive media, her work is rooted in the natural world and our relations to it.
"A gorgeous story inspired by Indigenous legends that will lead intrepid readers on a watery adventure." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"Tinged with mystery and peril, Robertson’s adventure underlines a family bond and anchoring traditions, while digitally crafted, kinetic art from McKibbon . . . visualizes the memekwesewak as ghostly underwater creatures surrounded by saturated natural landscapes." —Publishers Weekly
"[A] satisfying story about the strength of family bonds, persistence, and determination." —The Horn Book Magazine
"The text cogently conveys the Memekwesewak's initial threat without necessarily villainizing them, and there's a familiar comfort in the story's trajectory as two lost kids are called home by family love and tradition. The straightforward prose is unadorned, leaving the digital art to flesh out the otherworldly realm of the little people, and it does so with great success." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Robertson’s text and McKibbin’s illustrations are in perfect harmony here. . . . The Song That Called Them Home brings Indigenous mythology into the contemporary world and speaks to the importance and power of family. The exciting story and the beautiful visuals will make this a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection." —CM Reviews